When the world stood still

When I remember 9/11, I remember pictures and emotions much more than any actual thoughts that I might have had.

Like a lightning at night my memory only provides me with flashes of what I’ve done that day. And the numbness that I still feel, the utter disbelief, that anyone could be so evil. 

I was out shopping.

There was the call on my cell phone, my husband. He was kidding, wasn’t he?


At home I switched on CNN. There was smoke and only one burning tower and hectic voices of reporters.

I stood in my living room in front of the tv set and couldn’t move. I stared.

Rudy Giuliani giving an interview. People were falling from the buildings – no – they were jumping.

My lips turned numb, it still happens whenever I relive this moment, like right now. 

Shortly thereafter the second tower fell.

I sent a message onto my husband’s cell phone: “The WTC doesn’t exist anymore.” I never deleted this message from my cell phone. As if I wanted to have something to show that this was real.

I called friends in North Carolina and left a tearful utterly incomprehensible message. They called back and we talked a while. They were safe.

That night I let the boys sleep in our bedroom. I needed to hear them breathe. My overall confidence, that things were basically alright was gone, not for good, but for a very long time.